Major Union Praises DNC For Overcoming Obama On TPP

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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A major union praised the Democratic party platform for outright opposing a massive international trade deal Saturday in Orlando, despite attempts by President Barack Obama to get his own party to support it.

The Democratic National Platform Committee is tasked with proposing language for what the party officially supports. The committee has pledged to make the process as open as possible through the use of public forums. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) praised the committee for rejecting The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the final public forums meeting in Orlando.

“The party strengthened language initially proposed by the platform drafting committee, eliminating the reference to some Democrats supporting the TPP,” the union detailed in a press release. “The White House furiously lobbied platform committee members but failed in its intensive efforts to maintain some language in the platform suggesting that some Democrats support the TPP.”

Democratic party delegates will vote on the suggested party platform during the convention held in Philadelphia between July 25 and 28. The trade deal is likely to have a significant impact on global trade, at roughly 39 percent of global gross domestic product. It is the largest regional trade deal in history.

Democrats generally dislike the international trade deal, but the president and others within the party have still supported it. Opponents have worked to make sure it appears no Democrats actually like it. Labor unions, for instance, have launched media campaigns to personally attack Democratic lawmakers that support the trade deal.

The president and his administration negotiated the trade deal over the past several years. The deal was finalized Oct. 5 after fierce debate. It covers 12 countries, including some known for notorious labor violations. Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are among the partner countries cited for labor and human rights violations.

The White House has claimed the deal will help workers. Vietnam is now required to enact laws so workers can form unions independent of the government. Workers will also be able to strike over wages, hours and working conditions. Such rights have been commonplace in the United States and many other developed countries.

Critics have compared the deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which they claim resulted in many American jobs being lost. The president has previously insisted the deal could help fix many of the problems NAFTA caused. It is designed to gradually end thousands of import tariffs and other international trade barriers.

The trade deal will face significant opposition in Congress if it ever actually comes up for a vote. Most Democrats and many Republicans oppose it. Nevertheless, it has already managed to overcome a major challenge with the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), after a bitter fight in both the House and Senate.

CWA did not respond to a request for further comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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